Whereas the DPH's existing regulations have unduly limited qualifying patient access to cannabis medicine cultivated by a personal caregiver, until a registered marijuana dispensary opens within a reasonable distance of the qualifying patient, by preventing a caregiver from cultivating for more than one qualifying patient, and preventing the cultivating caregiver from being paid for his labor; and,
Whereas other New England medical marijuana states provide that caregivers may continue to cultivate for more than one patient, even where licensed dispensaries also provide medical marijuana, with no perceptible harm to the public's health or safety:
Wherefore, the following amendment to existing law shall serve the interests of the voters who enacted the state's medical marijuana, the interests of qualifying patients in obtaining better access to cannabis medicine until a registered marijuana dispensary opens within a reasonable distance, and the public interest in health and safety.
The Statutes of 2012, chapter 369 is hereby amended, by inserting into sec. 4 of c. 369, the following subsections (c) and (d):
(c) Notwithstanding any existing law or regulation to the contrary, which are hereby repealed as contrary to law, a personal caregiver may be designated by his or her designating qualifying patient to cultivate marijuana as otherwise limited by state law, regulation or municipal ordinance, until a registered marijuana dispensary opens within a reasonable distance of the qualifying patient. In providing cultivated medicine to a patient, the caregiver may charge a reasonable fee for expenses and labor.
(d) Notwithstanding any existing law or regulation to the contrary, which are hereby repealed as contrary to law, a personal caregiver may cultivate for up to nine qualifying patients, cooperatively or in separate locations, provided the caregiver and all qualifying patients designating the caregiver as the patient's cultivator also identify themselves a designating patients and cultivating caregiver to the department of public health as required by section 9 of this chapter, which information shall be kept confidential as required by section 15 of this chapter. A caregiver cultivating for up to nine patients shall be entitled to the protection of the immunity provisions of this section.
Emergency Preamble. Given the passage of more than two years since the effective date of the Statutes of 2012, chapter 369, without the opening of a lawful medical marijuana dispensary; and, the further delay expected before a lawful medical marijuana dispensary will open within a reasonable distance of every qualifying patient: This law shall become effective immediately upon its enactment.
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